Tintagel, Cornwall. The place where rigorous nature interlaces with fanciful Arthurian legends.

tintagel cornwallTintagel in Cornwall
This lovely Cornish village, exposed to strong Atlantic winds, has been popularized mainly for Tintagel castle’s ruins, to be more precise for its connection to the legendary King Arthur. Although the castle was built in the middle of 13th century, there are enough people who believe that infamous Camelot had already existed there long before Tintagel castle was built. On behalf of this conjecture says the fact that during the excavations of the site were found artefacts attesting to the presence of a settlement dated by at least 5th century.

Tintagel castle is stretched straight on the edge of rugged seashore, offering outstanding scenery. It is so beautiful in its austerity and unbridledness, it grips your heart with such a primordial worship and rapture, that you suddenly realise that even if “the castle” wasn’t what you expected to see, it was well worth to come here only for this view. Though saying that, there are also some curious things to investigate, such as “Merlin’s cave” or “King Arthur footprint” for example.
tintagel castleTintagel Castle in Cornwall. Photograph by Humphrey Bolton
Merlin’s cave, where according to legends used to live the renowned wizard while teaching Arthur, can be reached on low tide and it is certainly a special experience to be never forgot. The so-called King Arthur footprint is nothing more than a hollow in the rock, by its shape vaguely reminding of a booted footprint. This sort of things was quite popular in the old times as the inauguration feature, where a new king had to place his foot during his coronation.

Another of Tintagel’s attraction is the Old Post Office. Having been built in the 14th century as a manor house, it was luckier than Tintagel castle, and has been preserved perfectly. It used to be a local post office during Victorian époque, and now it operates as a National Trust museum. With its charming slabbed walls and houses, the footpaths along the dramatic coastline, numerous tearooms where you can relax outside and appreciate the array of Cornish pasties, the village represents itself a really wonderful place, but during the right season. When the unpredictable English weather gets capricious, Tintagel suddenly becomes slightly unwelcoming and bleak. The only thing you want then is to hide from the piercing cold wind, which seems to penetrate everywhere throughout the village, somewhere further inland. In this case St Nectan’s Glen with its magic waterfall, situated in Trethevy that is just in a mile from Tintagel, or the tropical paradise of Eden Project, which can be made up in an hour by car, might be a not bad alternative for you.
tintagel cornwallThe Old Post Office in Tintagel

Tintagel and its surrounding areas definitely do not suffer from lack of accommodations for every taste, and choosing for it, you will probably be tempted by Camelot Castle Hotel, neighbouring Tintagel castle and boastfully positioning itself as a regal and magic retreat with priceless views. The views are really priceless, no doubt about that. But while booking this place be prepared for that the room you paid for wouldn’t match the luxurious depiction of it in the hotel’s website. Through my own experience at Camelot Castle Hotel, I can tell you that the problem about this Fawlty Towers-alike place is that the major part of the building hasn’t been upgraded probably since the 70s, and booking a room in the hotel is like playing Russian roulette. As long as there is a chance of getting a nice refurbished space in there, you run a high possibility of ending up with a dreary damp hole with peeling wallpaper, caravan toilet and suffering from elementary cleaning. Hopefully you’ll be lucky and find this accommodation nice, but simply be aware of the fact that the owners of this hotel disgracefully misguide people by mean of their site.
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Emm said...

Oh wow - I love those stone structures and buildings! In the photograph of the castle, is that just about all there is remaining of it? It looks like a lovely town and I can't believe I didn't visit there when my dad used to live down there!

Anna said...

Yes, Amanda, i would only guess that this is all that remained from its past glory. Since i also didn't have the chance to investigate it because of heavy storm that occured there during my visit:(((( There's the reason to return then :)))
Most of the sources say that Tintagel castle had already been derelict by the 16th century. It was built by Reginald, the illegitimate son of King Henry I, who seemed to be enchanted by all these Arthurian legends and decided to create his own reincarnation of Camelot. It looks like his successors weren't interested in the castle if let it go into decay.

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